Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education


Our Executive Weekend Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education is a 60-semester hour program beyond the master’s degree that will prepare you to advance in leadership roles at various types of postsecondary institutions.  The program provides you with analytical, theoretical, and foundational groundings to address contemporary issues facing higher education educators, administrators and institutions.  Topics related to diversity, social justice and inclusion are thread throughout the curriculum. 

In addition, students have a choice of two areas of emphasis and are encouraged to take the courses that will enhance their present roles or to prepare for new roles.  The two areas of emphasis are:

  • College Teaching
  • Higher Education Administration 

College Teaching Emphasis

Designed to prepare professionals relative to the role of faculty in various postsecondary institutional contexts.  Courses focus on learning theories for various student populations, pedagogical practices and assessment practices in student learning. 

Higher Education Administration Emphasis

Designed to meet the needs of individuals seeking leadership or administrative advancement. Courses focus on educational policy, administration and student affairs.

The Executive Weekend cohort is designed for busy professionals who are looking for a doctoral program that provides a flexible schedule and allows you to earn your degree in four years.  The program is structured so that students take two, eight-week courses during fall and spring terms.  Summer classes will be in a weekend format.  Classes will be held at NIU Naperville.  The cumulating experience for the program is a Dissertation of Practice (12 credits) that takes an innovative practice-based problem approach to research.

A dissertation of practice is a model of a dissertation that is broadly understood as a scholarly endeavor focused on the applications, practices, and knowledge within educational contexts.  Specifically, the dissertation of practice focuses on addressing problems of practice that doctoral students are familiar with or are currently experiencing.  Often understood as a type of action research, dissertations of practice models are designed to help connect theory to practice within the education field in order find solutions and strengthen communities. 

Saturday, Sept. 8
Saturday, Oct. 13
Saturday, Nov. 10
Saturday, Dec. 1 
Saturday, Jan. 26
Saturday, Feb. 9
Saturday, March 23
Saturday, April 13 







EDD Program: 54 credits post masters

Emphasis in Higher Education Administration (HEA)

Emphasis in College Teaching (CT)



Fall Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Year 1


  • CAHA 702: Philosophy of Postsecondary Education 
  • CAHE 770: Administration of Higher Education
  • CAHE 703: Postsecondary Access in Higher Education 
  • CAHA 530: Instructional Theory, Practice, and Teaching in Postsecondary Education 
  • ETR 521: Educational Statistics 1
  • Elective (3 Credits) 
  • ETR 790: Community-Base and Participatory Action Research



Year 2


  • CAHE 771: Legal Aspects in Higher Education 
  • CAHA 733: Applied Learning Theories in Postsecondary Education 
  • CAHE 572: Assessment Methods in Higher Education


  • CAHE 772: Financing of Higher Education 
  • CAHA 759: Critical and Feminist Pedagogies in AHE 
  • CAHA 720: Review of Research in AHE


  • CAHA 570: Organization, Personnel Management, & Academic Administration 
  • CAHA 721: Applied Research Design in AHE



Year 3

  • CAHA 575: Public Policy Studies in Higher Education 
  • CAHA 740: Pedagogical Innovations & Student Learning 
  • CAHA 798: Research Seminar in AHE


  • CAHA 799: Dissertation*



  • CAHA 799: Dissertation*


* CAHA 799 is a variable credit course.  Need minimum of 12 credits to graduate.

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